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All At Once

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I haven’t been around here much lately. I just didn’t have anything to say. I was busy hanging out with my kid and worrying about money and doing things that are probably pretty boring that you don’t want to hear about. I have to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if I miss a few posts from time to time.

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Emily flew out Monday night. I successfully managed not to cry while she was packing. We spent the day waiting for a tropical storm to hit, so it was raining the entire day. We hung around the house playing games, reading, and enjoying our last hours in the same house. But all too soon it was time to get in the car and drive to the airport.

This was her first solo trip that wasn’t a direct flight, so we went over the procedure several times, and I insisted that she call me at every airport. And before I had time to catch my breath, it was time to send her through security and on her way out of our daily lives until Christmas. I smiled, hugged her hard, told her I loved her and was so very proud of her, that she would love her new school, and I couldn’t wait for her to come back. We stood there and watched her disappear around the corner, and my heart broke like it does every single time. I’m not strong enough for this.

But you keep breathing and the Earth keeps spinning and you have to continue with your life. I’ve had my resume put forward for three different jobs at the agency this week. I’m desperately hoping that I will be going to a job, any job, by Monday morning. I am in desperate need of a paycheck.

In the meantime, I’m still wishing that blogging could be my job, but I don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m going to try to put more focus and energy into it now that our little pretend vacation is over. I need a job so I can do the work I’m interested in. The work that brings me joy.  I’m not giving up. I’m still learning. I need to remember that I still haven’t reached the six month mark, the point at which I was supposed to be launching my own site that I’ve already had for two months. It’s gonna be okay.

The day after Emily leaves is always a day to reflect and readjust. That emptiness has to be filled somehow. I hope one of these days before I die I can become a person that my daughter can be proud of. Maybe some day.

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Big Fat Liar

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I lied at the end of my last post. Not only did I write another post that day, but I didn’t write one the next day either. Okay, maybe lie is a bit harsh. I fully intended to write another post, but it just didn’t happen. I haven’t been feeling much like writing lately. Maybe it’s’ the heat. Maybe it’s having the kid around. I don’t know. I just haven’t been into it.

So, let’s talk Friday. I wrote about passion fruit green tea, which was my favorite drink in Taiwan. We managed to recreate it here. It’s pretty awesome.

Emily and I escaped to the beach for a little while. The tide was higher than usual, making the water deep and rough. It was fun, but a bit dangerous. We retreated to the shade of a palm tree, actually Emily wanted to be in the sun. We both had books, though, so we were happy. There was some decent cloud cover, so it was actually quite lovely outside.

I also sort of decided that I might maybe sort of audition for Cabaret next month at Diamond Head Theatre. I have to find a stupid “traditional” song to sing. I also have to track down some character shoes for cheap or free. I got rid of all my dance shoes when I moved to Taiwan, and I can’t afford to replace them. I don’t want to buy shoes and then have the wrong color. I also don’t want to assume that I will be cast. They’re only taking 8 to 10 Kit Kat Girls. Given my age and inexperience, and the fact that auditions are taking place over three days, I don’t think my chances are very good. Auditions make me nauseous.

Can I get my act together? Time will tell.

A Departure

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On Wednesday, I posted something a bit unusual on Awesome on 20. I don’t know why I was so nervous about it. Almost nobody read it, and it got virtually no reaction whatsoever. But still, I agonized over posting something so personal and emotional on my blog that is supposed to be more “professional.”

I suppose I am still sometimes trapped in the adolescent mentality of thinking that other people might care what I do or say. The truth is, no one is paying attention to me. Just because other people can become successful, professional, full-time bloggers doesn’t mean that I can. Good things happen to some people. But not to everybody.

It’s fine, really. I said I would only write that blog because I loved it, and I still do. But envy has always been my biggest sin, and sometimes seeing all the free stuff and gushing praise showered on other well-known bloggers brings out the worst in me. I know, in my mind, that comparing myself to others is useless. I can’t seem to stop.

I am not a perfect person. I am often lazy, and even more often, distracted by envy. I tried to write something that might give a ray of hope to someone struggling with depression due to financial strain. Maybe it worked for one person. Does it matter?

Sleeping Late

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Apparently, once they get over their jet lag, almost teenagers sleep until 11 on a regular basis. Old mom types get up by 7 because what else is there to do? Old mom types make a sticky mess of the kitchen trying to make lilikoi syrup and take photos of big pitchers of lilikoi green tea. Almost teenagers win at Uno and want you to throw stuffed animals at them. Then they beg you to play chess, but you’d rather have a root canal so you talk your young husband into doing it instead.

You have a juice for lunch and a salad for dinner because yesterday you ate too much ice cream and Taco Bell and you feel a little gross. But then you ruin it by having a Magnum bar. Except having a Magnum bar actually makes everything better.

Your husband writes a big fat check to immigration, and you wish there was no such thing as borders because the whole thing is stupid really. It’s just the Earth and why shouldn’t you be able to live on whatever part of it you like as long as you contribute? Seriously, why all the closed doors, world?

You watch your stats hit about average, which is a let down from the astonishing numbers from the day before. I mean, you made everyone a milkshake. How can they not love you?

But you’re generally happy about your life because everybody is where they should be and healthy and loving each other. It’s pretty awesome.

Record Breaker

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Thursday was an exciting day. I woke up and checked the stats for Awesome on 20, and we already had about 50 views. I had a feeling it was going to be a record breaking day. And it was! By 11:00 am we had beat our record of 73 views by 12 views, and the day had barely begun.

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We started out our day with a quest for palm oil free Oreos that didn’t cost a hundred dollars. We drove out to whole foods and read a few labels. We finally managed to find the 365 brand without palm oil for $4. They don’t taste quite as good as the real thing, but I don’t feel nearly as guilty eating them.

We made and photographed milkshakes. They didn’t come out as pretty as I’d hoped, but they tasted awesome! In the meantime, our stats continued to grow, and we were soon over a hundred. What was even happening? I have no idea why we were having such a great day.

There must have been a few people who were reading pretty much all of our content and clicking from page to page because we didn’t actually have that many individual viewers and referral sources were pretty random, though surprisingly, a lot of them came from a comment I left on Joy the Baker’s blog.

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We tried to get our free slurpees, but 7-11 was out! How could they let this happen? Free treats are one of the few real joys of life. Okay, maybe not, but I did really want it. We just had more milkshakes instead. Go big or go home.

We ended up with 151 views by the end of the day. I was ridiculously excited. There’s no way to know how to replicate these results or even why they happened. It could be a total fluke and will probably be ages before we reach 100 again. It’s never going to be a big successful blog, but I still want it to be the best it can be. Hopefully a few people will like it. That’s all I can ask for.

Writing Factory

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I used to be the only writer in this household. My husband would write the occasional blog post, but no more than four or five times a year. Now he has a wildly popular new blog, and he’s become rather prolific, posting twice a week. I think he just wanted to make sure that he won at everything, so he had to start his own blog when I started mine. He’s very competitive. He won’t even let me love him as much as he loves me.

I can’t help but be a bit jealous of his amazing stats. I work so hard on my blog, and I’ve never come close to 100 views. I guess jalapenos just aren’t as interesting as drunken debauchery. I love him madly, though, and I’m so proud of him for taking this journey. He’s being completely honest, and I know how difficult and dangerous that can be. Luckily, he hasn’t been hit by any trolls yet. It’s only a matter of time.

It’s funny to have both of us writing at the same time, though. I imagine it would look pretty strange to outsiders, especially as we don’t have space for a desk in our house, so we both have to sit on the couch working on our laptops.

Please, drive up the stats on Geoff’s blog and make me even more jealous. If somebody has to be more successful than me, I’m glad it’s him.

Right On Time

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I did it. I’m actually writing a daily post on the day that the things in my life happened on. Can I give you one more weird sentence? Probably.

Did you know that in the UK they say boss-eyed instead of cross-eyed? Does that seem insane to anyone else?

This is my last week at the foodbank, which makes me terribly sad. Apart from really really needing steady work right now, I actually really like working with these people and this organization. I wish it didn’t have to end. But then, that is sort of the definition of temporary.

If anybody knows of any part-time work in the month of July, don’t keep it a secret. I’m trying to find something from 8 to 12 so I can have plenty of time to hang out with my baby, who arrives a week from today.

Awesome on 20 has been blasting off the last few days. Sunday we broke our record for views, and then on Monday, we broke that record, too. I’m a bit obsessed with our stats at the moment.

It’s going to be amazing to have an assistant for the month. We won’t have any spending money as we have to pay for Geoff’s immigration this month as well as his scooter repair. There’s going to be lots of nature next month. 12 year olds are into that, right?

Deep breaths. There’s still a bit of savings. Everything is going to be alright. Isn’t it? Maybe I am a big loser.

Probably not.

No really, it’s gonna be okay.